Ole Miss hit recruiting bonanza
UNDATED (AP) — Mississippi appears to have hit the jackpot with an football recruiting class that included the consensus No. 1 overall recruit, one of the top receivers and one of the best offensive tackles.
Defensive end Robert Nkemdiche (kihm-DEE'-chee) had decided to join his brother Denzel at Ole Miss. The 6-foot-5, 260-pound recruit, has been on several programs' wish list for more than a year, but Ole Miss appeared to be his destination for months because of close family ties.
The Rebels also welcomed receiver Laquon Teadwell and offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil. That gives Mississippi three five-star recruits.
Even Miami Heat star LeBron James was impressed. He tweeted, "Ole Miss ain't messing around today".
National champ Alabama looks like it reloaded nicely for another title run. Nick Saban recruiting class was ranked No. 1 in the country by Rivals.com.
Notre Dame's class was highly regarded as well, with most recruiting services rating it among the top five in the country. Coach Brian Kelly landed running back Greg Bryant of Delray Beach, Fla., linebacker Jaylon Smith of Fort Wayne, running back Tarean Folston, who rushed for 1,186 yards and 13 touchdowns for Cocoa (Fla.) High School, and safety Max Redfield of Mission Viejo, Calif.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-NCAA-MIAMI INVESTIGATION
NCAA wraps up internal probe
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The NCAA says it expects to receive the results of an independent review of inappropriate actions by members of its enforcement staff who have been investigating the University of Miami football program by the end of next week.
The NCAA says the review has been completed and a final report is being put together.
NCAA President Mark Emmert ordered the review after it was learned the enforcement staff had botched the high-profile investigation of the University of Miami by improperly conducting at least two depositions while working with an attorney for booster Nevin Shapiro. Miami has been under investigation since the convicted Ponzi scheme mastermind said he had provided improper benefits to Hurricanes recruits.
Giants cut two starters
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The New York Giants continued their roster purge after missing the playoffs, cutting halfback Ahmad Bradshaw and defensive tackle Chris Canty, who were both starters last season.
They had big salaries and battled injuries last season. Bradshaw has been bothered by foot and ankle problems for years, but was still the team's leading rusher in the last three seasons. Canty had knee problems.
Bradshaw was to earn $4.25 million and become expendable with the play of rookie David Wilson. Canty was to earn $6.5 million next season.
Rays secure two
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Reliever Kyle Farnsworth and second baseman-outfielder Kelly Johnson have finalized one-year contracts with the Tampa Bay Rays. Farnsworth missed much of last season with an elbow strain sustained during spring training and wound up going 1-6 with a 4.00 ERA in 34 appearances for the Rays. Johnson batted .225 with 16 homers and 55 RBI for the Blue Jays in 2012.
New deal for Leake
CINCINNATI (AP) — The Reds have avoided salary arbitration with right-hander Mike Leake. He has agreed to a one-year, $3.06 million deal. The deal on Wednesday leaves three Reds still facing arbitration: starters Mat Latos (LAY'-tohs) and Homer Bailey and outfielder Shin-Soo Choo. Last year Leake was 8-9 with a 4.58 earned run average in 30 starts.
DUI charge for Rockies star
DENVER (AP) — Five-time All-Star Todd Helton was arrested and charged with drunken and careless driving early this morning. In a statement released by the Rockies, Helton says he is embarrassed and apologized to his family, the team and the community. Helton is a career .320 hitter. The 39-year-old played only 69 games last year before undergoing hip surgery in August. He is expected to return for his 17th season this year.
Gasol has foot injury
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — Pau Gasol (POW guh-SAWL') has been diagnosed with a tear of the plantar fascia of his right foot a day after he said he felt a pop in the foot during the Lakers' victory over the Nets.
The Lakers say an MRI revealed the injury. The team said the results will be sent to team doctors in Los Angeles for analysis and that Gasol will return Thursday to be examined by team physician Dr. Steve Lombardo and foot specialist Dr. Kenneth Jung.
The Lakers say they will give a timeline for Gasol's return after the examination.
Thunder to face Warriors
UNDATED (AP) — There is a good matchup in the NBA this evening in Oklahoma City. The 36-12 Thunder are home to the 30-18 Golden State Warriors. The Thunder have won 14 straight from Western Conference teams since a 119-109 win over the Warriors on Nov. 18. Golden State is coming off a loss Tuesday to Houston in which the Warriors gave up a league-tying 23 three pointers.
After going 17-6 in their previous 23 games, the Atlanta Hawks have lost 11 of their last 17 games. Tonight they'll be playing host to a Memphis club that has lost seven of its last 13 games. That stretch has dropped the Grizzlies from just a half-game back of first-place San Antonio in the Southwest Division to seven games back.
The Spurs, who have won 10 straight, are playing the Timberwolves in Minneapolis tonight.
The longest losing streak in the NBA right now is held by Orlando. The Magic will attempt to right their ship this evening with a home game against the 34-16 L.A. Clippers.
The rest of the schedule has Charlotte playing at Cleveland, Philadelphia home to Indiana, the Celtics at Toronto, New York in Washington for a game against the Wizards, Brooklyn at Detroit, Miami at home to Houston, Phoenix at New Orleans, the Blazers in Dallas and Utah at home to Milwaukee.
Flames ink goalie
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — The Calgary Flames signed goaltender Danny Taylor to a one-year contract a day after Miikka Kiprusoff (MEE'-kuh KIP'-ruh-sahf) had a lower-body injury in a 4-1 win over Detroit. Kiprusoff, who left Tuesday's game after the second period, is listed day to day.
Backup Leland Irving stopped all six shots he faced in the third period against the Red Wings.
Light NHL card
UNDATED (AP) — There are just three games on ice this evening. In Montreal the Canadiens are home to the Bruins in a Northeast Division matchup. This is the first of four meetings this season between the Habs and Bruins.
Colorado and Anaheim are meeting for the first time in this lockout-shortened season. The game is being played in Denver. A year ago the Avalanche won three of the four encounters.
In the final game of the night, Edmonton is playing host to Dallas. This is their first meeting of the season and sets the stage for another contest within a week. They will face off again next Tuesday in Edmonton.
Jayhawks lead the way
UNDATED (AP) — This will be a busy night of play in men's top-25 action as nine games are on the agenda. No. 5 Kansas hits the road to face TCU just five days after being shocked at home by Oklahoma State. That ended the Jayhawks 16-game winning streak and 33-game home winning streak. Kansas is 19-2, the Horned Frogs 9-12.
In the only other game involving a top-10 school, seventh-ranked Arizona is home to Stanford. No. 12 Michigan State plays host to 18th-ranked Minnesota in a rematch of top 25 teams. Minnesota won the first game 76-63 on New Year's Eve.
SOCCER-WORLD CUP QUALIFYING
Honduras rallies to beat USA
UNDATED (AP) — Jerry Bengston took advantage of a defensive mix-up to score the go-ahead goal in the 79th minute, and Honduras rallied to beat the United States 2-1 in the opener of the final qualifying round for next year's World Cup.
Clint Dempsey put the Americans ahead in the 36th minute but the Americans gave up the lead when Juan Carlos Garcia tied the score in the 40th at San Pedro Sula.
Bengston, who plays for Major League Soccer's New England Revolution, scored the winner when defender Geoff Cameron and goalkeeper Tim Howard got crossed-up leaving Bengston alone for a shot into an open net.
Big win for an American
SCHLADMING, Austria (AP) — Ted Ligety (LIHG'-eh-tee) produced a blistering finish to win the super-G at the world championships, his first career victory in the discipline. The American took risks in the final section of the course to win in 1 minute, 23.96 seconds.
Venus Williams to miss Qatar Open
DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Venus Williams has withdrawn from next week's Qatar (GUH'-tur) Open due to an ongoing lower back injury. The 23rd-ranked Williams has been hampered by back problems since the Australian Open. Williams lost in straight sets to Maria Sharapova in the third round of the Australian Open, and then lost in the quarterfinals of the doubles alongside younger sister Serena.